Grand Jury Indictments in Conn. Molestations

Grand jury indicts pair in MySpace molestations:

The two scumbags that were arrested in Conn. for two unrelated incidents of child molestation of girls they met through MySpace have been indicted by a grand jury…

Stephen M. Letavec, a 39-year-old father of two from Elrama, Pa., is accused in a four-count indictment of using the Internet to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity and three counts of crossing state lines to engage in sexual conduct with a minor.

Letavec, who is being detained without bond, faces up to 30 years and a $250,000 fine on each count.

The second man, Sonny I. Szeto, 22, of Nashua, N.H., is accused of using the Internet to entice a minor into sexual activity and traveling across state lines to have illegal sexual activity with a minor.

Szeto, a recent college graduate, is accused of sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl in her parents’ home while they were asleep upstairs. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on both charges.

The fact that one of them is a father of two is more than disheartening.

Prank Nets Arrest

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Boys’ MySpace prank results in sex crime arrest:

This amuses me to no end…

FONTANA, Calif. – A group of boys who posed as a 15-year-old girl for an Internet prank ended up helping police arrest a 48-year-old man who tried to meet the fictitious teenager for sex, authorities said.

The five boys had created a fake profile of a girl on MySpace.com, a social networking Web site, to cheer up a friend who had recently broken up with his girlfriend.

But soon, a man began sending messages to the “girl” and their conversations began to have sexual overtones, said Fontana police Sgt. William Megenney.

The man also sent the “girl” his picture and arranged to meet her at a public park. The boys went to the park and, when the man arrived, they called police.

Michael Ramos, 48, of Fontana, was booked into West Valley Detention Center on Monday for investigation of felony attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and for an outstanding warrant, Megenney said.

Kudos to these boys for putting this scumbag behind bars.

This MySpace profile matches up with the suspect’s name, age, and location. That’s another reason why you shouldn’t post all your personal information on MySpace. Then assholes like me get to ridicule you for eternity.

Link via Digg and LiLO.

San Diego Man Arrested for Molestation

Cops: Accused Molester Met Teen On MySpace.com:

SAN DIEGO — Police in San Diego are accusing a man of committing lewd acts on a teenager whom he allegedly met on MySpace.com.

Officers in Mira Mesa arrested Bruce Chute, 44, on child-molestation charges.

Neighbors applauded as Chute was brought out of his home and arrested. They said that it is well-known that he engages in inappropriate behavior.

“As we leave the house, we can hear the Sunday morning porn emanating from his house, and it’s just really revolting,” neighbor Kathleen Goertzen told NBC 7/39.

Chute has already been arraigned. His next court appearance is set for April 10.

More on this as it becomes available.

This may be his MySpace profile but it hasn’t been updated since August. If it is his I doubt this is the one he used to molest teens.

MySpace gets ready to fight the law

In wake of the two arrests in Conn. of two men who molested underage girls they met through MySpace, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is calling on MySpace to make changes to their site to make it safer for children. On the other hand MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe says “People who put themselves at risk on MySpace, DeWolfe said, would be doing so elsewhere.”

Trench says they’re both right. On the one hand as LilO pointed out, MySpace is horrible when it comes to enforcing their own Terms of Service. On the other hand parents are doing a great disservice to their children by not checking up on what they’re posting on their MySpace.

Once a happy medium can be finally met then maybe MySpace will be safe for children. But I wont hold my breath waiting for it.

H/T to Stephen.

More kids posting more personal information

MySpace, your space, some say it’s unsafe:

Another local news article about how kids are posting too much information on their blogs. This time from Asheville, North Carolina, the Berkeley of the South.

HENDERSONVILLE Lynn Price doesn’t remember the exact moment she realized she needed to learn something about Xanga. But she knows it was right about the time she heard the screen name one of her students had come up with for herself. (Sorry, it’s unprintable here.)

Flabbergasted, the computer science teacher at Rugby Middle School visited xanga.com and got a look at the site that was revolutionizing her students’ social lives. What she found didn’t make her feel any better.

“I was scared to death. I was mortified when I came across these 13-year-old girls, beautiful girls in my classroom, and they’re giving their names and they live in Henderson County and they go to Rugby Middle School and they’ve got a soccer match at Hendersonville Middle Wednesday at 4:30, everybody’s going to be there,” she said. “I get real frightened because I’m thinking they haven’t got a clue who they’re inviting to that soccer match by putting that on the Web.

I don’t get it. Are parents really so clueless or such technophobes as to not know what their kids are posting online? Or haven’t they instructed them on the dangers of posting personal information online?

Dumped boyfriend uses MySpace for revenge

Former Boyfriend Seeks Revenge On MySpace.com:

(CBS) CLIFTON Police say Neftali Soto sent “intimate photos” of his ex-girlfriend to students at the Christopher Columbus Middle School in Clifton, NJ where she’s a teacher.

They say the 26-year-old did it by setting up a sham account on MySpace.Com, pretending to be the teacher.

“They were intimate photos they took on vacation, the kind lovers would take in this digital age,” said Joseph Del Russo, Passaic County’s Assistant Prosecutor.

Authorities say Soto stole the photos from his ex’s computer because he was angry over their breakup.

Then, according to investigators, he used MySpace’s search engine to identify students at the school.

“When a mom found out, she forwarded the pictures to her own account and she was able to freeze time.” Del Russo said.

That’s how investigators say they were able to link the photos to Soto’s computer.

MySpace had the usual non-answer…

When asked for comment about this story, MySpace.Com said they have all kinds of safety nets to make sure inappropriate material doesn’t make it on the site.

Apparently their safety net has Buick sized holes in it.

MySpace to increase security

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MySpace Plans to Boost Security for Minors:

In the wake of the Connecticut arrests of two predators who met underage girls through MySpace, MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe announced that MySpace will soon add technology to help prevent further crimes facilitated through MySpace. DeWolfe declined to give specifics on the technology but said an announcement would be made in the near future.

No word if better parenting and common sense are among those measures.

The Pedophile’s Playground

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Pedophiles trolling in MySpace raise alarm:

Just another local news article, this time from Houston, about how MySpace is a pedophile’s playground…

MySpace is the Studio 54 for the Internet set. And just like the seminal disco-era nightclub, MySpace has transcended being a place ”to see and be seen” and become a cultural benchmark.

But there are no bouncers guarding the Internet. Locally, there have been two arrests in underage sex cases, and nationwide, the site has been linked to probes involving a variety of crimes, including exposing minors to pornography and even murder. On Thursday, Connecticut authorities said they arrested two men on allegations of having sexual contact with minors they met through the site.

Locally, a 26-year-old Houston man was charged with sexual assault of a child, accused of luring a 15-year-old League City girl away from home in January after meeting through MySpace.

Also in January, another teen from League City met a 38-year-old man on the site who began sending sexually explicit messages. The girl told her father, who went to police. Robert Alan Wise was arrested after arriving at what he thought was a meeting with the girl but was a trap set by police.

And for the “no surprise” portion of the article…

Telephoned requests to the Santa Monica, Calif.-based headquarters of MySpace seeking comment were not answered.

Go figure.

The Pedophile's Playground

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Pedophiles trolling in MySpace raise alarm:

Just another local news article, this time from Houston, about how MySpace is a pedophile’s playground…

MySpace is the Studio 54 for the Internet set. And just like the seminal disco-era nightclub, MySpace has transcended being a place ”to see and be seen” and become a cultural benchmark.

But there are no bouncers guarding the Internet. Locally, there have been two arrests in underage sex cases, and nationwide, the site has been linked to probes involving a variety of crimes, including exposing minors to pornography and even murder. On Thursday, Connecticut authorities said they arrested two men on allegations of having sexual contact with minors they met through the site.

Locally, a 26-year-old Houston man was charged with sexual assault of a child, accused of luring a 15-year-old League City girl away from home in January after meeting through MySpace.

Also in January, another teen from League City met a 38-year-old man on the site who began sending sexually explicit messages. The girl told her father, who went to police. Robert Alan Wise was arrested after arriving at what he thought was a meeting with the girl but was a trap set by police.

And for the “no surprise” portion of the article…

Telephoned requests to the Santa Monica, Calif.-based headquarters of MySpace seeking comment were not answered.

Go figure.

Two molestations in Conn.

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Prosecutors: Men used MySpace to meet underage girls for sex:

I am horrified by this article…

Two men from Pennsylvania and New Jersey used the popular networking Web site MySpace.com to set up sexual encounters with underage Connecticut girls, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The two unrelated cases come after weeks in which the potential danger of MySpace has been a topic of discussion for law enforcement, parents and school officials nationwide.

In one case, Sonny Szeto, 22, of Jersey City, N.J., traveled to Connecticut in October and molested an 11-year-old girl in her playroom while her parents slept upstairs, according to an FBI affidavit.

In the other case, Stephen Letavec, 39, molested a 14-year-old Connecticut girl in his car while visiting from of Elrama, Pa., in October, according to another FBI report.

Police in Middletown are investigating recent reports that as many as seven local girls were sexually assaulted by men in their 20s who contacted them through MySpace pretending to be teenagers.

Emphasis mine.

What the hell was an 11-year-old girl doing on the internet unsupervised anyway? The internet is not someplace an 11-year-old girl needs to be wandering around aimlessly. Parents if this isn’t a wake-up a call, I don’t know what is.